In Tombstone, Arizona, September 2001, Debbie St Germain is found dead in her trailer, apparently murdered by her fifth husband. For her 20-year-old son, Justin, the tragedy marks the line that separates his world into before and after. Long after his mother's death is solved, Justin still sleeps with a loaded rifle under his bed. Ultimately, he sets out into the desert landscape of his childhood in an attempt to make sense of the unfathomable. Justin's journey takes him back to the ghost town of Wyatt Earp and the Gunfight at the OK Corral, to the trailers he and Debbie shared, to the string of stepfathers who were a constant presence in his life. He confronts people from his past and delves into the police records in an attempt to make sense of his mother's life and death. All the while he tries to be the type of man she would have wanted him to be
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Try not to marvel at the bare-knuckle prose, try not to get your heart torn to pieces, try not to feel lost in the scabby, sand-scoured western landscape, try not to fall in love with one of the most beautifully raw, brutally honest memoirs I've read - I dare you.
Benjamin Percy, author of 'Red Moon', 'The Wilding', and 'Refresh, Refresh'||Intelligent and compassionate at every step, Justin St Germain stares down his troubled Tombstone boyhood, from shooting capguns in the shadow of the OK Corral to piecing together his murdered mother's final moments. A searing story bravely told.
Claire Vaye Watkins, author of 'Battleborn'||Justin St Germain's spectacular memoir... amplified from a tale of personal loss and grief into a parable for our time and nation... Violence is America's fetish and it's St Germain's bête noire... If the brilliance of Son of a Gun lies in its restraint, its importance lies in the generosity of the author's insights
New York Times